Monsters : Dark Continent (2015)

monsters2-1bAlright, well, time for a sequel that I was genuinely excited for.. that has a new director and writer. Let’s see what happens. It’s Monsters : Dark Continent.

Ten years on from the events of Monsters, and the ‘Infected Zones’ have now spread worldwide. In the Middle East a new insurgency has begun. At the same time there has also been a proliferation of Monsters in that region. The Army decide to draft in more numbers to help deal with this insurgency.

If you guys remember the original film, it was released in 2010, written and directed by Gareth Edwards. Edwards would go on to make the insanaely disappointing Godzilla in 2014 and is attached to bring us a second one. One of the reasons Monsters received some acclaim was it’s display of restraint. The movie focused more on characters, and the titular monsters were more of a back drop for the story. The movie had some pretty engaging characters, and I remember it being pretty satisfying. Though, I haven’t seen it in quite a long time.

Fast forward to now, and the long awaited sequel. This time around, Gareth is gone, and has been replaced by Misfits director Tom Green (no, not that Tom Green). Green directed the movie, and also wrote it with Jay Basu (The Dinosaur Project … yeah, me either). It immediately felt like Green and Basu had HEARD of the first movie, and that there weren’t many monsters in it, but didn’t really know anything else about it.

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There are monsters in the movie, sure, giant Cthulu-esque, cool, huge, and well designed monsters. They don’t make much of an appearance, which would be fine, except… the movie isn’t really about them either. In Godzilla, my biggest complaint was the lack of … Godzilla, but at least the story was about Godzilla. This one felt a bit like if American Sniper had monsters stomping around in the background that no one ever talked about. The military troupe we follow around the entire movie seems more interesting in tracking down “insurgents” in the middle east, and so much time is spent on that sub plot that it becomes tedious and frustrating.The monsters make 3 or 4 significant appearances and the rest of the movie is hoo-rah American soliders murdering people who aren’t white for 2 hours.

Yes, I know the point was that the first one didn’t have many monsters, but this one is two awkwardly spliced together movies. There is a scene that is a direct copy of the scene from Zero Dark Thirty where the Osama compound is raided. Night vision and all. Just no Osama.

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The other problems is that the main actors are immediately not likable, and it makes it really hard to care when some of them die, or really about anything that is going to happen to them at all. I did enjoy Johnny Harris’ performance, but I think that has more to do with my liking him as an actor in general and not because he was good. The rest of the actors are pretty unremarkable throughout, and just feel like the most generic version of solider characters from every modern war movie. Sort of like if there was a movie about the background actors in The Hurt Locker, and then behind THEM were monsters.

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This was a hugely disappointing, mediocre, and flat out dumb movie. Not worth the time, and really does feel it’s length. At nearly two hours, you’re better off watching … something else. Go check out my Top 10 of 2014 list and watch the ones you missed. Oh, and watch Spring. That movie is great.

RATING: *

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